New evidence shows charter school experiment not working

The Green Party is calling on the Government to stop plans to open another round of charter schools after documents reveal existing charters are failing to achieve agreed targets for NCEA Level 2.

Budget documents show that on average only 41.5 percent of students left charter schools with NCEA Level 2, well short of the target for 2014/15 of 67 percent. While one school had a big impact on the overall average, even without that school’s results, the overall results were below the agreed target.

The third round of charter school applications closes this Friday.

“The Government promised charter schools would be the solution to educational underachievement, but these results indicate kids put into charters are not doing better, and in many cases may be doing worse,” Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“The last thing the Government should be contemplating is opening more charter schools when the kids who’ve been put into existing charters are not coming out any better off.

“It’s time to call this experiment off once and for all.

“Kiwi kids should have the best education possible. The Government has an obligation to ensure that all children have every opportunity to succeed at school, not to experiment on them in order to fulfil its bit of the coalition agreement with the Act Party.

“There was never any evidence that charter schools would do well by Maori, kids with special needs and those from poorer families – the groups who are supposed to be the priority students for enrolment.

“These kids need the best the public can provide, and the Government should give public schools the resources they need to provide it,” Ms Delahunty said.